Greenpeace: Apple, Google World's Greenest Tech Companies

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Apple, Google, and Facebook are among the world's most environmentally friendly companies, according to a new Greenpeace report (PDF).

For the third consecutive year, these three tech companies rank among the highest-performing firms, while newcomer Switch—operator of SUPERNAP data center facilities—takes the top spot.

"Thanks to the leadership and advocacy of companies like [these], we are seeing the tech industry make major strides toward powering the Internet with clean energy," Greenpeace senior IT analyst Gary Cook said in a statement.

But while many organizations have committed to 100 percent renewable energy, the reality, according to Greenpeace, is that much of the sector continues growing in markets with few or no renewable options. A lack of transparency also remains a major barrier. Amazon Web Services, which earned a C in the "Clicking Clean: Who Is Winning the Race to Build a Green Internet?" report, has revealed some detail on its energy demand.

But it's not enough for Greenpeace, which highlighted AWS as "a prime example of a company that talks up its renewable projects, but keeps customers in the dark on its energy performance while expanding into markets served by dirty energy," Cook said.

Many popular Web-based platforms—Amazon Prime, HBO, Hulu, Netflix, Pandora, Spotify, Pinterest, WordPress—scored below average, while others—YouTube, iTunes, WhatsApp, Bing, Yahoo, Instagram, LinkedIn, Tumblr, and eBay—passed with flying colors.

Apple, once chided by Greenpeace for lagging behind, was this week described as "aggressive … in its efforts to power its online platform with renewable energy." The company, as well as its iMessage and iTunes products, snagged an 83 percent in the 2017 clean energy index.

Cupertino wears the badge with pride, making great strides since 2012 to help better the environment; its still-under-construction spaceship campus in California will be "the greenest building on the planet," CEO Tim Cook boasted more than two years ago.

"Sustained and vocal advocacy by corporations that recognize the ecological and economic imperative of an aggressive transition to renewable sources of electricity has never been more important in the United States given the election of Donald Trump, who has promised to roll back climate policies and revive the use of coal," Greenpeace's Gary Cook said.

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